Scuba diving enthusiasts will be flipping their fins with anticipation over the news that there will soon be another wreck-site to explore off the Cayman Islands.
The ex-USS Kittiwake - commissioned in 1945 and weighing in at 2290 tons - will spend its final days on the seabed just off Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach. The completion of a seven-year project by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism sees the vessel, which was at one stage due to be scrapped, ceremoniously sunk on July 27th.
Not only will the wreck provide a new habitat for marine life but it will also create another valuable underwater playground for the thousands of divers who regularly visit the Cayman Islands. The Kittiwake shipwreck attraction will diversify our product offering and reduce the environmental impact on the country's most popular dive sites such as Stingray City, says Project Manager Nancy Easterbrook.
Here are some of the wrecks that the 251ft submarine rescue ship Kittiwake will soon be competing against for the affections of avid divers... and a few fish too.
The wreck: The Wreck of Cali, Grand Cayman Island
Vital stats: The 244ft old freighter that sunk just outside the harbour of George Town in 1957 is only a few feet shorter than Kittiwake. It is located 100ft from the shore at a debth of 20ft.
The experience: The ship's ribs are scattered along the ocean floor and provide the home for beautiful sponges and large tarpon.
The wreck: Cayman Mariner, Cayman Brac.
Vital stats: The Mariner is a smaller wreck at 55ft long. It stands upright on the sand at about 60ft.
The experience: The hull and wheelhouse are home to red and orange encrusting sponges and dozens of eels.
The wreck: MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, Cayman Brac
Vital stats: Tibbets is the daddy of the Cayman wrecks and one of the world's best dive sites. The Russian frigate is 330ft long and 68ft high. It sits at a depth of 60ft and was sunk in 1996 to great fanfare.
The experience: The entire ship can be seen easily from the surface making it good for divers and snorkellers. Barracuda, queen angelfish and yellow tang swim through its halls.
If you are interested in seeing the Kittiwake go deep deep down (and it fits into your travel plans), public topside viewing is taking place on July 26th and spectators can view the sinking from a distance on July 27th. The first dive will take place on July 29th.